Environment Minister Urges Developed Countries To Lead Reduction In Carbon Emissions

NEW DELHI : Union Minister for Environment, Bhupender Yadav, on Tuesday called upon the developed countries to take the lead drastic emissions reduction.

Addressing the opening plenary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Conference of Parties (COP) at its fifteenth session in Cote d’Ivoire, he noted that the responsibility of the developed countries is highest in terms of global warming.

Noting strongly that despite the declining condition of land, the World continues to go on with consumerism driven lifestyles. Yadav said that it is imperative that we collectively move away from a consumption-oriented approach. “The mindset of use and throw is deleterious for the planet.”

Speaking on the effects of the COVID pandemic, the minister stated that it has compounded the challenge of fighting global warming as economic pressures have delayed or slowed climate action across the world.

Sighting the finding of the IPCC Report of the Third Working Group, the minister said that the world exhausting its remaining carbon budget at a rapid pace, pushing us closer to the temperature limits of the Paris Agreement.

The Minister further stated that India has enhanced monitoring of the health of its soils through the Soil Health Card Program implemented throughout the country. “Over 229 million Soil Health Cards have been issued to farmers between 2015 and 2019 and this program has led to a decline of 8-10% in the use of chemical fertilizers and also raised productivity by 5-6%.”, Yadav added.

“India has made significant progress in its commitment to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. Major initiatives have been launched and existing programs strengthened in meeting the land degradation neutrality targets.”

The minister further added that following the global call for the submission of nominations for World Restoration Flagships, the Government of India endorsed six restoration capitals that target the restoration of 12.5 million hectares of degraded lands.

“I would like to point out that India’s rural livelihood programs have an underlying ethos of natural resource conservation and restoration. In recovering from the pandemic, we have used our livelihood programs extensively to work towards land restoration. Building forward better and greener communities, especially for vulnerable groups, will have to be at the heart of the restoration agenda,” Yadav said.

Emphasizing that landscape restoration is more than planting trees, the minister said that it is essential that we recognize the power of local and indigenous knowledge with the close community of science and technology needs, priorities and assistance in all parts of the process .

Expressing hope that the collective commitments are transformed into action by all countries, and public, private and civil society actors, significantly increasing the resources to address the global challenge of containing land degradation, Yadav assured India’s continued support and readiness to contribute to the positive outcome of the conference.

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